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Asian American Profiles

Subject: Language Arts, Art, Technology
Grade: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12


Brief Description

Students create a book of short biographies about prominent Asian Americans.



  • define the word biography,
  • research and study contributions made by prominent Asian Americans using various sources,
  • write short biographies using correct sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation,
  • compile biographies into a book.


China, Japan, Malaysia, India, Asia, Asian American, biography, profile, contribution

Materials Needed


  • 3-inch by 5-inch index cards
  • pens
  • a large paper bag
  • teacher-selected sample biographies of prominent Asian Americans
  • computers with Internet access or student-researched library sources
  • writing paper
  • markers or crayons
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • a hole punch and binder rings or a large clamp binder

Lesson Plan

Prior to the lesson, write the names of famous Asian Americans on 3-inch by 5-inch index cards. You will need at least one card per student in the class. Place those cards in a large paper bag. Suggestion: You may want to complete this activity in two lessons.

Lesson 1

  • Discuss the meaning of the word biography. Ask students what kind of information about a person might be contained in a biography. Write students' responses on the board.
  • Read aloud to students examples of one or two short biographies about prominent Asian Americans from library sources or printed out from these suggested sites:

Asian Americans Who Have Made a Difference

  • Explain to students that they are going to write short biographies about prominent Asian Americans. Tell students that they will choose the persons for their biographies from the names on the index cards in the paper bag. Have each student select one card from the bag.
  • Have students use library sources or the Internet to research information about the people on their cards.
Lesson 2
  • Call on students to read their biographies aloud to the class.
  • Use images of the famous Asian Americans from the Web sites referenced above, or distribute construction paper, markers or crayons, scissors, and glue, and have each student draw a picture of the person they wrote about on the construction paper.
  • Let students cut and paste their biographies on the construction paper below each picture.
  • When all the pages are finished, let students arrange the biographies in ABC order. Have students brainstorm a title for the book and a design for the cover.
  • Arrange the pages by category; for example, a section on Asian American leaders, another section on writers, and so on.
  • Focus the book on a specific theme; for example, create an ABC book about famous Asian Americans in history or science, or famous Asian American women.
  • If students use printouts from the Internet sites noted above, let them cut out each picture and paste it on the construction paper above the biography.
  • For younger students: Provide teacher-selected sources for the biographies. Have each student draw a picture of the person he or she chose and write a few words about the person under the picture.


Evaluate students' completed biographies.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts:

Fine Arts: